Methamphetamine is referred to on the streets as “crystal meth”, “crystal”, “ice” or “glass”. Chemical reactions occurring in the manufacturing process of making methamphetamines cause crystallization, creating a look and texture that resembles shards of glass. One of the immediate threats of smoking or injecting crystal meth is the harm of being damaged by “shards” of the “glass”. Pieces of crystal meth can end up in one’s eye, cut the gums, or get stuck in the throat. So harsh is the chemical structure of meth that smoking the drug can lead to rapid tooth decay, a syndrome known as “meth mouth.” Meth is highly volatile because it is made with a wild array of chemicals- from household paint primers and cleaning products. The pop cultural image of a “meth lab” blowing up is due to the threatening experiments in chemistry.
Synthetic Stimulant Drugs
Though meth is generally characterized by a common set of symptoms and effects, the changing nature of meth’s chemical compound means that each dose of meth is different from the last. Methamphetamines, like other synthetic stimulants, are incredibly powerful central nervous system drugs. Drugs which interact with the central nervous system get to the brain more quickly, delivering intensely strong sensations of euphoria almost instantaneously. Hits of meth are so strong and immediate that building dependency and tolerance to the drug also happens quickly. Creating a hyperproduction of dopamine in the brain, each come down from being high on meth is met with cravings for another dose. Additionally, the stimulant property of meth creates patterns of reliance on the drug because of the ability to focus and stay awake.
Symptoms of Meth Addiction
- Heavy Sweating
- Loss of appetite
- Dilated pupils
- Increased physical activity
- Erratic or repetitive physical motions
- Increased blood pressure and/or heart rate
- Paranoia, irritability, and aggression
- Damaged skin from picking
- Saggy skin with loss of pigmentation
- Criminal activity like stealing
- Hypsersexuality and reckless sexual behavior
- Changes in behavior, job performance, and relationship
Recovering from addiction to meth will likely require a difficult detox period including intensive psychiatric care. Following up detox with intensive outpatient or residential inpatient treatment will be beneficial. Refuge Recovery offers all levels of treatment as well as sober living services. We strive to provide our residents with tools for living a fulfilling and authentic life free from the attachment to meth addiction. For more information call or text us today 323-207-0276.